Grace and favour
A grace and favour home is a residential property owned by a monarch by virtue of his or her position as head of state and leased rent-free to persons as part of an employment package or in gratitude for past services rendered. Some are owned by UK charitable trusts.
It is possible that the term crept into English through the writings of Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote of advisers who are ministers per grazia e concessione, which has been translated as "through grace and favour".
In the United Kingdom, these homes are owned by The Crown or a charity and, in modern times, are often within the gift of the Prime Minister. Most of these properties are taxed as a "benefit in kind", although this status does not apply to 10 Downing Street or any home granted for security purposes, such as the residence of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. They are at times granted to senior politicians.
List of grace and favour homes in the United Kingdom
- 10 Downing Street, City of Westminister — official residence of the First Lord of the Treasury (now always the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom)
- Chequers, Ellesborough — official country house of the Prime Minister
- 11 Downing Street, Westminster — official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Second Lord of the Treasury)
- 12 Downing Street, Westminster — official residence of the Chief Whip
- Dorneywood, Burnham — official ministerial residence; a country residence usually for use of the Chancellor, or for the Deputy Prime Minister
- Admiralty House, Westminster — official ministerial residence
- Admiralty Arch, Westminster — official ministerial residence
- No 1 Carlton Gardens, Westminster — official ministerial residence; usually for the Foreign Secretary
- Chevening House, Chevening — official ministerial residence; usually a country residence for use of the Foreign Secretary (during the Cameron ministry, jointly with the Deputy Prime Minister)
- Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough — official ministerial residence for the Northern Ireland Secretary
- Speaker's House, Palace of Westminster, Westminster — official residence of the Commons' Speaker
- Lord Speaker's Apartments, Palace of Westminster, Westminster — official residence of the Lord Speaker.